Guard Family Network
Families have a great impact on the success of Maryland National Guard Soldiers. The Maryland National Guard and the 29 CAB are committed to ensuring that families have the proper resources to manage the challenges associated with separation due to deployment.
A family network is an organization of family members, volunteers, and Soldiers belonging to a unit that together provide an avenue of mutual support, assistance, and a network of communication among the family members, the chain of command, and community resources.
Guard families are the backbone to supporting our troops. The mission of a family network is to develop an active, cohesive, supportive statewide network of Army and Community Volunteers who work together to improve family readiness and vigorously support the families of Soldiers who are deployed in service to their country or state or are in need due to tragic circumstances.
Family Readiness Groups
The official definition of a family readiness group is, "An organization of family members, volunteers and Soldiers belonging to a unit that together provide an avenue of mutual support, assistance, and a network of communication among the family members, the chain of command, and community resources."
Today's Guard families need to be prepared for the possible deployment of their Soldier. The best way to prepare them is through the use of chartered Family Readiness Groups.
Preparations include but are not limited to:
- Formation of a telephone tree to pass information to families quickly and efficiently.
- Training volunteers and family members on the benefits and services available to them upon the mobilization.
- Helping deploying Soldiers and their families prepare for separation and the problems that come with deployment.
- Networking with other Guard families to share lessons learned and to provide mutual support.
- Networking in the local community through use of Citizens Committees and other community contacts.
- These networks and contacts can provide invaluable support to the families of deployed Soldiers during hard times.
A Family Support group is more than a social club that plans the unit holiday party and summer picnic. The importance of having an active, functional unit Family Readiness Group cannot be over emphasized. We need our families to be informed, connected and educated. If this is accomplished we will have gone a long way towards helping them prepare for an uncertain future.
Family Readiness Groups are managed differently in every unit. How they are managed depends upon many things: the personality of the leaders, the number of families involved, available resources, etc. The core of the FRG is the unit, for this is where the rubber meets the road. All FRGs throughout the Army share the same purpose-to support Army families.
For more information about the29 CAB Family Readines Program contact Susan Robinson at 410-612-4152.
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